Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Education and Eton

The Eton clique at the head of the Conservative party is a slur often cast at David Cameron and his team, so I did a little Wikipeia'ing and came up with the following list of the shadow cabinet and their schools:

David Cameron -Eton College
William Hague - Wath-upon-Dearne Comprehensive
George Osborne - St Paul's School (Independent)
David Davis - Bec Grammar School, Tooting
Liam Fox - St. Bride's High School, State sector
Michael Gove - state and independent sectors in Aberdeen, latterly at Robert Gordon's College
David Willets - King Edward's School, Birmingham (Independent secondary)
Andrew Lansley - Not listed
Theresa Villiers - Not listed
Nick Herbert - Haileybury (Public school)
Chris Grayling - Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe
Peter Ainsworth - Ludgrove School in Wokingham and Bradfield College
Eric Pickles - Greenhead Grammar School
Sayeeda Warsi, Baroness Warsi - Birkdale High School and Dewsbury College
Pauline Neville-Jones, Baroness Neville-Jones - Leeds Girls' High School
Jeremy Hunt - Charterhouse School (Public school)
Francis Maude - Abingdon School (Independent)
Theresa May - Not listed
Alan Duncan - Merchant Taylors' School (Independent)
Owen Paterson - Radley College (Public school)
Cheryl Gillan - Cheltenham Ladies' College (Public school)

So that's just one from Eton College and a fair mix of other public schools, independent schools, grammar schools and comprehensives.

Let's take a look at that great bastion of classlessness, the Labour cabinet:

Gordon Brown - Kirkcaldy High School
Jack Straw - boarded at the fee-charging Brentwood School
Harriet Harman - St Paul's Girls' School (Independent) - NB: (niece of an Earl)
Alistair Darling - private Loretto School, Musselburgh, East Lothian
David Miliband - schools in London, Benton Park School in Leeds and Boston, Massachusetts before being educated at Haverstock Comprehensive School in North London
Jacqui Smith - Dyson Perrins High School in Malvern
Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland - Unknown
John Hutton - Westcliff High School for Boys (selective non-boarding grammar school)
Ed Balls - independent Nottingham High School
Hazel Blears - Wardley Grammar School
Andy Burnham - St Aelred's Roman Catholic High School
Des Browne - Catholic St Michael's Academy in Kilwinning
Hilary Benn - Holland Park School (the "socialist Eton")
Alan Johnson - passed the 11 plus exam and attended Sloane Grammar School in Chelsea
John Denham - Woodroffe Comprehensive School
Douglas Alexander - Park Mains High School in Erskine
Shaun Woodward - independent Bristol Grammar School
Ruth Kelly - privately educated at Sutton High School
James Purnell - most of his education in France, returning to study his A Levels at the Royal Grammar School
Paul Murphy - St Francis Roman Catholic School in Abersychan, West Monmouth School in Pontypool
Ed Miliband - Haverstock Comprehensive School
Yvette Cooper - Comprehensive Eggar's School on London Road in Holybourne near Alton and Alton College
Geoff Hoon - independent Nottingham High School

Again a fair smattering of grammar schools, independent schools and comprehensive schools as well as the "socialist Eton"

Insulting a person because of where they were educated seems to make as much sense as insulting someone because of the colour of their hair or skin. Most children go to the school their parents send them to, full stop end of story. Maybe the class warriors in the Labour party should bear that in mind, but I doubt it - instead they will bang on about Eton toffs all the way into the dustbin of history.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hear, hear. Excellent post.